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9 Great National Parks in Europe

OUTDOYO - 17 apr 2018

Do you believe that travel is expensive? Access to these beautiful spots in Europe is completely for free. The only thing you need bring along is your adventurous mindset.

1. Le Parc National des Pyrenees / Ordesa y Monte Perdido - France/ Spain

These two parks, separated by the Pyrenees, share a fantastic fauna, including the largest bird of prey of Europe, the Bearded vulture. Hundreds of footpaths meander through the valleys and in the France area you can camp in the wild. 

Photo: Ayous Lakes in upper Ossau Valley, Bearnese Pyrenees


2. Jotunheimen - Norway

This park, " home to the giants", covers the 29 highest mountains of the country, including the 2469 meter high Galdhopiggen. In Norway everyone enjoys the allemannsretten - free access to county areas, including national parks. A favorite hiking routte is the Beseggen-bergkam. 

Photo: Glacier in Jotunheimen 


3. Bavarian Forest / Sumava - Germany/ Chech Republic

In this wild Utopia there are still beautiful pieces of primeval forest where you can hike.  You find hiking-, cycling-, and langlauf routes and there are more than 10.000 animal species. Wild camping is allowed. 

Photo: Wolf in Grafenau, Bavarian Forest


4. Vatnajokull - Iceland

The largest national park of Europe covers twelve percent of the total area of Iceland. Here, you find the mighty Dettifoss-waterfall. You can go for glacier skiing and ice caving at the largest icecap of the country. 

Photo: Glacier lagune at Vatnajokull


5. Cairngorms - Scotland

The largest national park of Great Brittain contains a plateau with five high summits, including the 1309 meter Ben Macdui, residence of the monster of Am Fear Liath Mor. There are diverse bothies, free shelters. 

Photo: Pinus Sylvestris treeline at Cairngorms National Park, Scotland


6. Olympus - Greece

In the Greek methology the tops and cracks of the Olympus are the home of the twelve Olympic gods. Nowadays, you find here the golden eagle, wolves, wild cats, and hikers, enjoying the original olympic theater. 

Photo: Sunrise at Mount Olympus


7. Brecon Beacons - Wales

This 'reseve of dark skies' contains the unpredictable Black Mountains and the magic Coed-y-Rhaeadr (Woods of the water), with waterfalls like the Sgwd-y-Eira (snowwaterfall) in the river the Hepste, with a path behind the watercurtain.  

Photo: Lake at Brecon Beacons


8. Gran Paradiso - Italy

At the slopes of the hightest mountain of Italy, the 4061 meter high Grand Paradiso, Capricorns rove about like they are king of the hill. This amazing park, once the hunting territory of King Victor Emmanuel II, is nowadays popular for hiking, climbing and lang laufing. 

Photo: Valle D'aosta, Gran Paradiso


9. Oulangan Kansallispuisto - Finland

In this beautiful park at the border of Finland and Russia hundreds of reindeer live. Enjoy the multi-day Karhunkierros-route, an 80 kilomter long trekking during which you can stay for free in huts along the way.  

Photo: Oulangan National Park